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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 14, 2020

Are Certified Supply Chains More Socially Sustainable? A Bargaining Power Analysis

Paul Muller, Michael Böhm, Péter Csillag, Michele Donati ORCID logo, Marion Drut, Hugo Ferrer-Pérez, Lisa Gauvrit, Jose M. Gil, Viet Hoang, Agata Malak-Rawlikowska, Konstadinos Mattas, Orachos Napasintuwong, An Nguyen, Ioannis Papadopoulos, Bojan Ristic, Zaklina Stojanovic, Áron Török, Efthimia Tsakiridou, Mario Veneziani and Valentin Bellassen


Food quality schemes (FQS: organic and geographical indication products) are often supposed to be more sustainable by their political advocates. We explore the social sustainability advantage of FQS through the lens of supply chains’ bargaining power (BP) distribution. We propose an indicator synthesizing different sources underlying BP (competition-based, transactional, institutional) and counting two dimensions (fair BP distribution and adaptation capacity), that we apply to 18 FQS supply chains and corresponding reference. FQS perform better than their reference products on both dimensions. This better performance is due to a combination of sources.

Corresponding author: Paul Muller, BETA, CNRS - University of Lorraine – University of Strasbourg & INRAE, Nancy, France; and CESAER, AgroSup Dijon, INRAE, Univ. Bourgogne Franche-Comté, 21000 Dijon, France, E-mail:

Funding source: This paper is a research output of the Strength2Food project which was funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program

Award Identifier / Grant number: 678024

  1. This paper is a research output of the Strength2Food project which was funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant Agreement No. 678024. We sincerely acknowledge two anonymous reviewers for their comments that greatly helped in improving the quality of the manuscript.

Annex 1 List of supply chains (FQS and references) and key data sources

SectorFQS productType of FQSCountryMain data sources for the FQSReference productMain data sources for the reference
Cereal/bakeryCamargue riceOrganicFranceKey informant (PGI consortium)Non-organic rice (mostly PGI)Key informant (PGI consortium)
Thung Kula Rong-Hai (TKR) Hom Mali ricePGIThailandKey informant, Napasintuwong (2019)National averageKey informants, Rice Mills Association
Organic flourOrganicFranceAvise and Agence Bio websitesNational averageAgence Nationale de la Meunerie Française website
Organic pastaOrganicPolandKey informant (producer)National averageKey informant
DairyComte cheesePDOFranceKey informant (PDO consortium)National average (cow cheese)France Agrimer (2010, 2011)
Parmigiano Reggiano cheesePDOItalyKey informant, PDO consortiumBiraghi cheese (similar non-PDO cheese)Key informant, ISTAT
Organic yoghurtOrganicGermanyAMI (2017)National averageMIV, Fakten Milch Sept-2017
MeatGyulai sausagePGIHungaryPGI producersNational averageKey informant (Hungarian meat Industry Federation), non PGI producers
Organic porkOrganicGermanyKey informant (Naturland), EcoZeptNational averageEcoZept
Sobrasada of MallorcaPGISpainKey informantNational averageKey informant
Ternasco de AragonPGISpainPGI consortium managerNon-PGI lamb in the same region (Aragon)Key informant, Sierra (2016)
SeafoodSaint-Michel Bay bouchot musselsPDOFranceKey informant (PDO consortium)National average (TSG Bouchot mussels)Oyster general survey
Phu Quoc Fish SaucePDOVietnamKey informants (local expert and PDO consortium)Non-PDO fish sauce from same regionKey informants (local expert and PDO consortium)
Fruit/vegetableBuon ma Thuot coffeePGIVietnamKey informantNon-PGI coffee from Dak Lak province in VietnamKey informant
Kalocsai paprika powderPDOHungaryKey informants (PDO consortium)Imported pepper milled in HungaryKey informants (PDO consortium)
Kastoria applePGIGreeceKey informantKissavos apples (non-GI apples from another region)Key informant
Organic raspberriesOrganicSerbiaOrganic farms registryNational averageOfficial farm registry
Organic tomato from Emilia RomagnaOrganicItalyKey informant, OI Pomodoro da Industria del Nord ItaliaNational averageKey informant, OI Pomodoro da Industria del Nord Italia

Annex 2 Average bargaining power distribution and bargaining power of the weakest level values for each FQS and corresponding reference supply chains: mean values (standard deviation) after 10,000 runs

SectorCase studiedBargaining power distributionBP of weakest level
FQSReferenceMost performant SC (1% significance level)FQSReferenceMost performant SC (1% significance level)
Average (std. dev.)Average (std. dev.)Average (std. dev.)Average (std. dev.)
Cereal / bakeryCamargue Rice0.011 (0.012)0.014 (0.015)FQS0.281 (0.030)0.277 (0.034)FQS
TKR Hom Mali Rice0.007 (0.011)0.000 (0.000)Reference0.697 (0.080)0.215 (0.085)FQS
Organic Flour0.022 (0.019)0.020 (0.018)Reference0.249 (0.040)0.255 (0.039)Reference
Organic pasta0.032 (0.048)0.372 (0.191)FQS0.391 (0.086)0.095 (0.035)FQS
DairyComté cheese0.026 (0.023)0.155 (0.144)FQS0.583 (0.114)0.331 (0.131)FQS
Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese0.002 (0.005)0.047 (0.068)FQS0.646 (0.111)0.337 (0.069)FQS
Organic yoghourt0.013 (0.024)0.115 (0.128)FQS0.455 (0.096)0.189 (0.082)FQS
MeatGyulai sausage0.466 (0.222)0.294 (0.246)Reference0.144 (0.083)0.144 (0.082)FQS
Organic pork0.018 (0.027)0.037 (0.046)FQS0.466 (0.090)0.352 (0.083)FQS
Sobrasada de Porc Negre0.017 (0.029)0.071 (0.097)FQS0.541 (0.107)0.364 (0.099)FQS
Ternasco de Aragon0.019 (0.023)0.200 (0.235)FQS0.800 (0.113)0.227 (0.121)FQS
SeafoodSaint Michel Bay bouchot Mussels0 (0)0.009 (0.010)FQS0.546 (0.092)0.499 (0.092)FQS
Phu Quoc Fish Sauce0.030 (0.026)0.103 (0.082)FQS0.405 (0.098)0.262 (0.083)FQS
Fruit / vegetableBuon ma Thuot coffee0.025 (0.030)0.085 (0.124)FQS0.246 (0.056)0.385 (0.089)Reference
Kolocsai Paprika powder0.176 (0.106)0.019 (0.025)Reference0.311 (0.089)0.285 (0.108)FQS
Kastoria apple0.041 (0.064)0.084 (0.093)FQS0.470 (0.107)0.162 (0.063)FQS
Organic raspberries0.130 (0.089)0.369 (0.177)FQS0.501 (0.126)0.200 (0.074)FQS
Organic tomato from Emilia Romagna0.092 (0.064)0.092 (0.064)None0.451 (0.092)0.451 (0.092)None


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Received: 2019-09-13
Accepted: 2020-11-24
Published Online: 2020-12-14

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